Plans are on track to close all seven bridges on Ocracoke Island for a massive bridge replacement program.
The bridges on Highway 12 will be closed Wednesday as contractors rush to replace them all by the March 15th deadline.
The $8 million project means traffic will be detoured onto the beach. The D.O.T. says only 4-wheel drive vehicles will be allowed to travel the detours. And just in case, the D.O.T. has contracted with a wrecker service to provide free towing for any stuck vehicles.
Also, those wanting to re-inflate their tires after driving on the beach will have access to free air compressors. One air compressor will be placed at the northern ferry terminal and another will be placed at the National Park Service campgrounds just outside Ocracoke Village.
The contractor has until March 15th to reopen the seven bridges.
Here is the modified ferry schedule, provided by the D.O.T.:
Hatteras to Ocracoke:
Depart 5:00 a.m. (both sides)
Depart Ocracoke on Even Hours
Depart Hatteras on Odd hours
Last Departure from Ocracoke at 8:00 p.m.
Last Departure from Hatteras at 9:00 p.m.(except for scheduled school events or emergencies)
Swan Quarter to Ocracoke:
Depart Swan Quarter:
Fuel Priority Runs
Tuesdays - 7:00 a.m. Departure from Swan Quarter
Tuesdays and Wednesdays - 4:00 p.m. Departure from Ocracoke
The fare for the Swan Quarter to Ocracoke Ferry will be waived in both directions for Ocracoke residents.